PUBG Mobile is the massively popular 100-player Battle Royale shooter with more than 10 million daily active users. That means you're always able to jump into a match at any time of day. With such a ridiculous number of people in the game and every match playing out in a unique fashion, to actually win on a consistent basis will require the knowledge, experience, and map strategy to set yourself up for a victory. Erangel is the OG map that's been in the game since day one. Every seasoned PUBG Mobile player has this map memorized by now with their preferred drop locations ready to go for every match. If you're new to PUBG Mobile, you can consider this guide to be a crash course in how to survive and win.
Finding the right place to drop
Erangel is a massive map that offers a good mix of urban areas and wide open stretches of forests, hills, and open fields. The scale and variety of the terrain are part of why it's still one of the more popular maps in the game.
Where you decide to drop on the map can be a make or break decision. It's crucial to find a safe spot to loot before enemies close in on you, and that comes down to equal parts luck and strategy. The best areas for loot on Erangel are Pochinki, the School, and Military Base — which also means they're the most popular drop spots where you're almost guaranteed to see action in the first five minutes.
The most popular drop locations on Erangel are Pochinki, the School, and Military Base. You can expect to find the best loot, and often the best players, when you parachute into those areas.
This can be a good thing if you're confident in your skills and are looking to rack up some quick kills early in the match, but remember that survival is the name of the game. You get more experience points and rewards the longer you stay alive, so it's often smarter to drop into to one of the more uncommon marked locations on the map. Spots like The Mansion, Prison, or the shipping containers on the south side of Georgopol are less common drop areas with good amounts of weapons and gear to collect.
Another factor you will always need to take into consideration is the flight path of the plane. The locations directly in line with the flight path are almost always going to be more populated, so if you want to start your match away from other enemies it can be as simple as free falling as far away from that flight path as possible. As long as you avoid splashing down in the water and land someplace with buildings to loot, you should be off to a good start.One of the safest and quietest ways places to drop is right along a coastal location so that you've got the ocean at your back and you can work your way inland towards the safe zone. This is a slow and stealthy approach that's great for newer players who aren't so keen to be dropped right into the fray.
Don't give yourself away too easily
Speaking of stealth, you won't go very far in PUBG Mobile if you're constantly giving yourself away. The best players will try and mask their presence until they've got the enemy in their sights and are ready to go in for the kill.
That's why I recommend only engaging with enemies if you're sure you can get the kill. It can be really tempting to go for a long distance snipe but you could end up tipping them off to your location, or even if you do get the kill, you've now just given away your position to any other enemies roaming in the area.
Smart PUBG Mobile players use the map notifications to determine where gunshots are coming from and to track the footsteps of nearby enemies. It's a tried and true tactic that can often let you get the jump on an enemy. Taking out someone looting their kill is one of the more satisfying moments in the game. With that in mind, you don't want that to ever happen to you so always be scanning the horizon.
Keep an eye on Royale Pass challenges
Whether or not you're actively working to complete the Royale Pass challenges, it's worth knowing what weird tasks players might be chasing after. For instance, there's several weekly challenges that must be completed in Pochinki, meaning that you can expect even more players than usual trying to land in that area.
Not all players are chasing after the Royale Pass challenges, but it's worth knowing what tasks players might be trying to complete. It can help to explain why so many players are desperate to get grenade kills or could simply give you tips or help you avoid landing in busy areas linked to Royale Pass challenges.
Snag the free cosmetic upgrade before each match
This is more a fashion tip than a survival tip, but if you want a free cosmetic upgrade for your character you can find a full outfit in the waiting area before the match begins. It's a neat little easter egg that will also test your parkour abilities.
Sitting atop a stack of shipping containers is a stylish black hooded outfit with matching pants and boots. There's only one set and it can only be found in the staging island that everyone starts out on before the plane takes off. You'll first need to use boxes to climb onto the first yellow container that's almost directly across from the plane wreckage and Crew Challenge display.
From there, you need to jump across to the second and third platform. The third yellow container has a couple blue boxes stacked on top that you'll need to carefully walk around to get to the other end. Line up your jump onto the final green container that has a grey box and some barrels stacked on top, and your reward will be waiting for you next to the barrels.
This is something you can challenge yourself to do before each game, and often you'll be racing against other players to get there first. If you fall off a container at any point, you'll need to start all over, so its a great way to practice precise movement and jumps.
Other PUBG Mobile survival tips
PUBG Mobile can be a cruel and unforgiving game if you're new and don't know what you're doing. The more experienced players will understand how to work each map to their advantage, so we'll first arm you with some basic strategies to stay alive.
- Learn to master the free-look feature: The best way to get kills and win in PUBG Mobile is by getting the jump on your opponents. If you can spot an opponent way off in the distance before they can spot you, you can get off the first few shots and maybe snipe them before they have a chance to spot you. That's why you need to become best friends with the look mode, which is the eyeball icon on the right-hand side of the screen. You can set your character to sprint towards the safe zone while using the look feature to scan the horizon for enemies. Master this technique along with the intelligent use of the map noise notifications and you should be able to get the jump on enemies.
- Get down and take cover: If you start getting shot at out of nowhere and you can't immediately tell where the shooter is, you need to assess the situation fast and find cover. If you're running through a grassy section, often your best bet is to go prone and crawl while using the look icon to try and get a read on where the shots are coming from. Alternatively, if there's a shelter nearby, make a beeline for it and heal yourself before engaging with the enemy.
- Vehicles are great for many scenarios: There's a number of reasons why it's a smart idea to make use of vehicles you come across in PUBG Mobile. The most obvious reason is if you're well outside the safe zone and the circle is closing in on you, finding a vehicle is often your only chance at surviving. If you're driving and you spot an enemy in the distance, you can switch to the passenger seat and try to snipe them before they get shots off at you. Cars and trucks can also be used as effective weapons against other players. There's no point in sticking to the roads in a game like this, and it can be pretty easy to catch players running through an open field. Hit them going full speed and it's usually a one-hit kill. Of course, if you miss they will have a prime opportunity to shoot back — so don't miss.
Get more PUBG Mobile
PUBG Mobile is a free-to-play battle royale shooter that pits you against up to 99 other players. With an ever-growing list of maps and game modes to choose from, it's one of the best games available to play on Android.
The best accessories for mobile gaming
GameSir F1 Grip ($13 at Amazon)
PUBG Mobile doesn't support Bluetooth controllers, so this phone grip is the next best thing. It gives you a more comfortable hold on your phone for extended gaming sessions.
Ventev Powercell 6010+ Portable USB-C Charger ($37 at Amazon)
I always recommend this battery pack from Ventev because it's so compact and convenient. You get a built-in USB-C cord, built-in AC prong for charging the unit, and 6000mAh battery capacity.
Google Play Gift Card (From $25 at Amazon)
Whether you're looking to buy into the premium Royal Pass, need some credit to buy an ID Change card, or want to drop some dough on some cosmetics, buying a Google Play Gift Card is a good way to keep your PUBG Mobile spending in check.
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